HG refinances non-referendum debt

by Steve Ottman Review Correspondent

HOWARDS GROVE— Schenk and Associates, the district’s auditor, recommended refinancing the school’s non-referendum debt to save between $5,000 and $6,000 per year, Howards Grove School District Superintendent Chris Peterson told the School Board at their November meeting.

Peterson stated that the current rate is 5.5 percent and the school could lock in a rate of 3.75 percent with Cleveland State bank without any closing costs.

“This savings would pay down the debt faster,” said Peterson.

The refinancing was approved with the option to prepay the loan.

Board member also approved a motion to have a new phone system installed by O&W Communications at a cost of $35,500.

The school’s voice mail system crashed Oct. 22 and with no parts available to repair the system, Peterson requested using emergency funding from the designated fund balance.

The work is expected to start next week and be completed after the Thanksgiving break.

Peterson presented the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school calendars. He highlighted some of the events on both calendars.

In 2015-16, school will start on Tuesday, Sept. 1. Christmas break would run from Dec. 24 through Jan. 3. Spring break will be March 25 through April 3. Graduation would be June 5 and the end of school will be June 8.

In 2016-17, school would start on Thursday, Sept. 1. Christmas break would be held from Dec. 24 through Jan. 2. Spring break will be from March 25 through April 2 with two days off for Easter April 14 and 17. Graduation is June 4 and the last day of school is June 8.

Both calendars included built-in snow make-up days and were approved by the board.

Peterson pointed out highlights from the audit held by Schenk and Associates. The school received very high marks.

High School Principal Scott Fritz stated that the school has received requests from students for medical course instruction. He introduced Jamie Buechel, who offered a Health Careers course as an introductory class for the students. The cost for books was estimated at $25.

Fritz and Buechel both felt that this could result in a cost savings for the school. Right now the students use on-line courses.

Board President Jeff DeAmico thanked Rome Goddard and the Howards Grove Boosters for donations to the football team, and the PTO for donations to the fifth grade rewards program and kindergarten field trips.

The middle school received a $500 grant from Exxon Mobil through the local Petro Center.

In addition, DeAmico thanked the community and local businesses for donations for the girls volleyball trip to the state tournament.

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